Number 10 PROs to appear before select committee

Newly appointed Number 10 communications director David Hill will be among a number of senior government PROs set to give evidence at a fresh investigation into their profession.

The Commons Public Administration Select Committee is to be the latest body to look at their role, which is already being examined by a review into government comms led by Guardian Media Group CEO Bob Phillis.

The select committee, chaired by Tony Wright MP, will look at the wider implications for Government communications of the Hutton

Inquiry, which were not covered by the investigation into the events surrounding the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

A source close to the committee said the investigation could call PROs interviewed by Phillis and the Hutton Inquiry as well as those closely involved with Downing Street’s communications over the last five to ten years or more.

This will include Hill predecessor Alastair Campbell. The committee will want to establish whether ministers’ ability to appoint special advisers from specially chosen external candidates damaged the neutrality of the civil service and the principle of appointment on merit, as has been claimed, the source said.

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